Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"A horrific explosion at a gunpowder mill sends Bess Crawford to war-torn France to keep a deadly pattern of lies from leading to more deaths, in this compelling and atmospheric mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of A Question of Honor and An Unwilling Accomplice

An explosion and fire at the Ashton Gunpowder Mill in Kent has killed over a hundred men. It’s called an appalling tragedy—until suspicion and rumor raise the specter of murder. While visiting the Ashton family, Bess Crawford finds herself caught up in a venomous show of hostility that doesn’t stop with Philip Ashton’s arrest. Indeed, someone is out for blood, and the household is all but under siege.

The only known witness to the tragedy is now at the Front in France. Bess is asked to find him. When she does, he refuses to tell her anything that will help the Ashtons. Realizing that he believes the tissue of lies that has nearly destroyed a family, Bess must convince him to tell her what really happened that terrible Sunday morning. But now someone else is also searching for this man.

To end the vicious persecution of the Ashtons, Bess must risk her own life to protect her reluctant witness from a clever killer intent on preventing either of them from ever reaching England."

My Thoughts:

I am well and truly hooked on this series now after finishing this book!  If I can be honest I even enjoyed this one more than An Unwilling Accomplice and I was basically singing that book's praises my entire review.  But I'm getting off track a bit.  One of the things that I enjoy most about these books is that the authors actually base their storylines on actual events that have happened.  There was an actual fire that took place at a gunpowder works factory that the authors used to base this story off of.  Obviously this is fiction so they made everything work how they wanted to but I loved the author's note at the end of the book that gave those details and shared how they came up with story.  This book was also a bit more fast paced for me as Philip Ashton's life and well being were on the line.  I was worried about how everything was going to end and this made me read this book that much faster.

One of the other things that I really enjoy in these books is just reading about Bess's everyday life as a nurse on the war front.  I found all of these details so completely fascinating and they made my reading experience that much more satisfying.  I'm also completely intrigued by Simon who plays a part in both of these books.  I feel like there is the potential for Simon and Bess to develop a romantic relationship with each other.  Hopefully he continues to play a prominent role in this series and we get to see more of him!  The mystery itself was nicely done and kept me intrigued throughout the book.  I especially liked how the authors played with the idea of a mob mentality when it came to the idea of Philip Ashton being guilty.  It added to the suspense quite nicely!  The ending caught me by surprise and had me flying through the pages to see how everything would play out.  I loved it and was left ready for the next book in this series as soon as I turned the last page. 

Overall, I am officially hooked on this series!  I would be bummed that I don't have the next book in my hands except I have the earlier books in this series to look forward to still.  I'm going to be on the search for more historical mysteries to check out after loving these books so much!  If you enjoy quiet mysteries that focus on the characters and details, then this is a series not to be missed.  For me I've enjoyed both of my forays into this series and will be adding these authors to my must read list.  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A mystery that kept me engrossed until the very end!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher as part of a TLC book tour.  Thoughts are my own!


  1. I saw this mother/son duo that write as Charles Todd a couple of years ago at the Poisoned Pen in Phoenix. They were so interesting and told about their research for the Bess series and also their other series featuring Ian Rutledge. You know about that one right? A WWI vet who returns to his job at Scotland Yard. He has what was called 'shell shock' or PTSD these days. And I haven't started either series - yet. Oh, and have you read any of Anne Perry's Victorian series? I love both of them, but am especially partial to the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series. Just saying...

  2. Mann, I haven't been to your blog in a lng time, I missed it!! This mystery sounds spooky. I'll keep my eye out for it :D

    Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger

  3. I've only read one book in this series, but I love Bess Crawford. At some point I would like to read the entire series. This one sounds really good!

  4. Terrific review! This sounds like an exciting and suspenseful mystery, Sam.

  5. Kay- I haven't yet started the Ian Rutledge series but after loving this one so much I will definitely be starting it soon! And I have the first book of the Anne Perry series waiting patiently on my shelves. So many books, so little time! You should definitely give this series a go- I'm loving it!

    Sarah- Thanks for stopping by again! It was a really great read so I hope you enjoy it if you do get the chance to read it!

    Wendy- This is my second in this series and I've loved them both. I cannot wait to go back to the beginning and read the books I have missed out on. Which one have you read?

    Suko- It really was a great mystery!

  6. I'm so glad you've got all the previous books to go back and read - I know you'll enjoy them!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.


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